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The future of Simply Static

As some of you may have noticed in December 2020 I adopted Simply Static from Scott Blaine.

I used the plugin myself several times and in context for some enterprise projects. After fixing it for my own purpose (updating dependencies, smaller modifications) I thought about getting in contact with Scott to take over the development.

Short about myself

I’m Patrick. I’m a WordPress Developer since 2010. I’m developing WordPress plugins full-time for almost my entire career. Currently, I’m a full-time developer at MarketPress which you may know from products like German Market and B2B Market.

That will change in February 2021 where I’m switching back to be a full-time freelancer again and try to bring in some more time to develop and maintain my plugins.

In my free time, I develop and maintain several plugins on wordpress.org which you can check out on my profile here. Some of them have a pro version others are entirely free to use.

The near future

I will take the beginning of the year to make a bit of housekeeping for Simply Static. Updating dependencies, handling the management via Composer, and introducing a lot of hooks which you can use to extend it.

I’m also writing documentation and several tutorials for you to show different use cases, benefits, and more from static website generators.

Support

The project will be developed on Github. You can find the repository here: https://github.com/patrickposner/simply-static

Feel free to add issues and do pull requests – I try to catch up!

The other support channel will be the support forum from wordpress.org here: https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/simply-static/

I try to answer everyone, but as I’m a solo developer and doing that mostly in my free-time don’t expect immediate answers and fixes to all your reports.

You can email me at [email protected] but I can’t guarantee a timely answer.

Monetization

I will monetize Simply Static. That means there will be a pro version that enhances Simply Static with additional features, all features included in Simply Static now will remain free forever.

That also does not mean, that the free version will not have new features, bug fixes, and improvements.

It will be only one pro version which you can install in addition to Simply Static to enhance the feature set, I’m really not a fan of a paid addons for each and every feature. I can ensure you it will be fair.

Roadmap

Simply Static

While I have not decided which features will be included in the free or pro version of Simply static I made a little roadmap for coming features of it.


Some of them will be quite experimental and some are more established. I like to maintain the current community but also bringing some new fresh air from a headless development perspective to Simply Static.

Selection

It will be possible to do selective static generations. This includes creating sets of pages, posts, and so on and export them as well as automatically trigger an export when updating content.


This ensures a faster generation time and remains a consistent workflow for you without the necessity to do a full and maybe time-consuming complete generation process.

Queues

I will introduce an interface to plan and execute timed generations in Simply Static. So that you can set intervals and dates to automatically refresh and deploy a new static version of your website.

Deployment

I’m enhancing the wp-background-processing abstraction class to make it easier to handle automatic deployments to external services. I will also build ready to use integrations to popular services like Amazon S3, Digital Ocean Spaces, Cloudflare Worker, and Netlify to make it easier for you to automate the entire process.

WPML and Multiste

I’m developing a solution to use Simply Static in a multisite context to export subsites to different directories (or deploy them to different storage solutions) as well as exporting static versions per language via WPML.

Forms

I plan two form plugin integrations for Simply Static: Gravity Forms and Contact Form 7. This part will be handled with JavaScript (React) and requires the WordPress Rest API activated.

Search

I’m developing a headless search solution for Simply static. This will not require external services like Agolia instead it will using the WordPress Rest API to do the search with an asynchronous request, display the results, and redirects the user to the correct static version of the page.

Comments

Equally to forms and the search integration, there will be a headless solution to comments in Simply Static.

WooCommerce

This is by far the most complex feature on my to-do list. I’m not developing an entire API around WooCommerce to work perfectly in a static site instead I will try to integrate with the awesome folks at https://cocart.xyz/

I’m quite not sure how and when all of that will be available to use, it’s more like a general concept than a fully-featured and detailed roadmap.

The Community

I like to write some words about this awesome community. I’m really impressed how well the feedback just the moment after I published the first update to Simply Static was.
You are awesome people and talented developers. I’m really happy to see things evolving, meeting new people like you, and working together to make static website generation a solid way of running a WordPress website.

Special thanks to Leon Stafford and Avinash Dalvi which kind of motivated me to write those lines and immediately offered their help!

All the best and have a nice start in 2021,

Patrick